Thursday, 23 May 2024

Season Review: 1966-67

The 1966-67 NBA season marked a significant turning point in the league’s history. With the addition of the Chicago Bulls as an expansion team and the Baltimore Bullets moving to the East, the NBA underwent some notable changes. The postseason format was also altered, removing the first-round bye for division winners.

The Philadelphia 76ers, under the leadership of coach Alex Hannum, had a remarkable season, starting with an impressive 46-4 record. Led by players like Chet Walker and Billy Cunningham, the team’s success was anchored by the legendary Wilt Chamberlain, who focused on rebounding, defense, and playmaking. Chamberlain not only finished third in scoring but also led the league in rebounding and was third in assists.

The 76ers reached the Finals for the first time since 1955 and faced off against Chamberlain’s former team, the San Francisco Warriors. In a six-game series, the 76ers emerged as the champions, with Chamberlain getting his revenge.

Although the Finals were memorable, the true test for the 76ers came in the Eastern Division finals against their long-time rivals, the Boston Celtics. In a fiercely contested series, the 76ers defeated the Celtics in five games, showcasing team-first play reminiscent of the Celtics’ dominant style.

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The 1966-67 season was indeed a magical one for the Philadelphia 76ers, who played almost perfect basketball as a team. Even the Celtics had to acknowledge their superiority, recognizing the 76ers’ mastery of team ball.

Playoffs

  • Eastern Division semifinals: Boston defeated New York (3-1) and Philadelphia defeated Cincinnati (3-1)
  • Western Division semifinals: St. Louis defeated Chicago (3-0) and San Francisco defeated Los Angeles Lakers (3-0)
  • Eastern Division finals: Philadelphia defeated Boston (4-1)
  • Western Division finals: San Francisco defeated St. Louis (4-2)
  • NBA Finals: Philadelphia defeated San Francisco (4-2)

Season Leaders

  • Points – Rick Barry, San Francisco Warriors (35.6)
  • Assists – Guy Rodgers, Chicago Bulls (11.2)
  • Rebounds – Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers (24.2)
  • FG% – Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers (68.3)
  • FT% – Adrian Smith, Cincinnati Royals (90.3)

Award Winners

  • Most Valuable Player – Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Rookie of the Year – Dave Bing, Detroit Pistons
  • Coach of the Year – Johnny “Red” Kerr, Chicago Bulls
  • All-Star Game MVP – Rick Barry, San Francisco Warriors

Q: What changes occurred in the 1966-67 NBA season?
A: The 1966-67 NBA season saw the addition of the Chicago Bulls as an expansion team and the Baltimore Bullets moving to the East. The playoffs format was also modified, removing the first-round bye for division winners.

Q: Who led the Philadelphia 76ers to their first Finals appearance since 1955?
A: The Philadelphia 76ers, under coach Alex Hannum, had a stellar season led by players like Chet Walker and Billy Cunningham. However, it was Wilt Chamberlain’s dominance in rebounding, defense, and playmaking that propelled the team to the Finals.

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Q: How did the 76ers fare against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Division finals?
A: The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics in a fiercely contested five-game series. The 76ers showcased a team-first style of play similar to the dominant Celtics, ultimately dethroning the defending champions.

The 1966-67 NBA season brought significant changes to the league, with the addition of the Chicago Bulls and the reshuffling of teams in the East. The Philadelphia 76ers had a remarkable season, led by Wilt Chamberlain and guided by coach Alex Hannum. The team’s success culminated in a Finals victory against Chamberlain’s former team, the San Francisco Warriors.

The 76ers’ journey to the championship was not without its challenges; their true test came in the Eastern Division finals against perennial rivals, the Boston Celtics. This series showcased the team-first play that led to their triumph and marked the end of the Celtics’ long reign.

With outstanding performances from players like Rick Barry, Guy Rodgers, and Chamberlain, the 1966-67 season showcased some remarkable individual achievements. Chamberlain, in particular, excelled in multiple statistical categories, solidifying his status as one of the game’s greatest players.

In summary, the 1966-67 season was a pivotal moment in NBA history, introducing new teams and a revamped postseason format. The Philadelphia 76ers emerged as the champions, displaying exceptional teamwork and defeating formidable opponents along the way.

To learn more about the iconic moments and noteworthy players from the 1966-67 NBA season, visit Osceolagarage.

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